After nearly four weeks in Fiji have passed by much too quickly, my time here has come to an end. I must set sail and resume my journey to Australia if I wish to stay on "schedule" and leave the South Pacific before cyclone season, as I now have non-MONGO obligations from late September -  early November...

MONGO in Cal 2-27 paradise... Fiji, and not in a hurry to leave. So she won't Perhaps not now, perhaps never. MONGO will be offered for sale in Fiji instead of Australia. Photo thanks to Kurt Roll of "Low Altitude Films". That is Tavarua Island in the back ground; home of Cloud Break.

I don't wish to stay on schedule however. I've elected to mix things up a bit. The mast has been pulled and fixed, i'm loving Fiji and don't want to leave, i've lined up a delivery from Fiji to New Zealand in September and am now planning on spending 'the season' in Fiji and also placing MONGO for sale in Fji, instead of Ausralia as originally planned.

Rig of MONGO - A never ending saga

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Watching the sun rise over the island of Viti Levu on the final morning of a month at sea and one of the most hectic passages of my life. Incredible. More photos to come.

After 28 days at sea and more than 3,000 miles sailed, s/v MONGO has arrived in Fiji! With windy trades to Palmyra, I anchored there for one night to recoup and do some boat work before continuing on towards American Samoa. Leaving Palmyra the breeze went southerly and built to 25 knots, which had me beating south towards Samoa and pushed me west of rhumbline. At about 5° south, once the breeze abated, I discovered two vertical cracks at the base of my mast and that the rig was now moving on the mast step; a chilling discovery to say the least. I made temporar repairs at sea and then conservatively continued sailing towards Samoa. 200 miles north of American Samoa, the forecast called for the SE trades to go lighter and back to the east; perfect for me and MONGO. Unfortunately, the breeze re-established itself out of the southwest and then built to 40 knots out of the south and then settled at 30-35 out of the southeast. With a damaged rig and a 27-foot sailboat, it became clear that I would not reach Samoa, which was now dead upwind. You can't fight the universe, so I cracked off and changed course for Fiji, some 700 miles further away. Putting in back-to-back 130+ mile days under storm jib alone, we made relatively quick and consistent work of this additional Fiji passage and sailed into the Navalu Passage on Fiji's west side on August 5 and anchored in Nadi for the night before clearing Customs the next day at Lautoka, a further 12 miles up the coast of Viti Levu (one of Fiji's two main islands.)

This passage was quite difficult and very stressful with the mast damage, but we made it. Fully stoked to be in Fiji!!! Lautoka has been great so far, i've met lots of cool people, both locals and cruisers alike, and I really truly like Fiji a lot! This place is rad! This weekend I will sail for the island of Malolo, where I will be conveniently posting up near some of the world's most renowned surf breaks, including "Cloud Break". This is what i'm here for. I will also need to side-tie to a bigger boat and pull my mast back out and make repairs. The plan is to pull the rig, chop two inches off the bottom, modify the mast step, shorten my shrouds and re-step the rig. Should be as good as new and cost very very little money to do at anchor. The adventure continues...

The full passage log, which is un-edited and very long is below:

Kauai - American Samoa passage
 
July 5, 2014 - 2115 - I've just left Kauai 

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MONGO Tracker going live around July 1 or 2 for passage to American Samoa. Click here for link.

MONGO anchored in Hanalei Bay, Kauai after escaping the time vortex that is Hawaii Yacht Club and Honolulu. Absolutely epic.

Just like Maui, and San Diego and Santa Barbara before that, MONGO spent more time in Honolulu than I had planned on. Such is life on a cruising sailboat on a constantly evolving adventure; time seems to stop in some places that you visit while you simply breeze through other ports of call. Honolulu was great to me, as it always is. For the fifth year in a row I sailed a boat into the Ala Wai Harbor. I love the place. Nealry one month there. 3 Friday night Beer Can races on MONGO. Lots of good surf at Waikiki on both my 6'7 single fin and 7'6 Mini Mal. My surfing is constantly evolving and while I haven't written about it enough in these pages, it has given me some of the greatest fulfillment of this voyage thus far. I hope this love affair lasts forever. Much needed re-fitting and constant dialing in of my ship and a few productive weeks of writing, boat work and sailing journalism work at the cruiser's oasis that is Hawaii Yacht Club. And I shared my time with a brillant group of people. From two visist from Rebekah to almost nightly parties and social gatherings, to quiet evenings, waterfall hikes and the first place of extensive day sailing since San Diego. MONGO left her slip, under sail, and went sailing more than 10 times in 26 days. It was epic in every sense of the word and time could easily stop in Honolulu, just as it could have had in Maui.

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MONGO racing hard for position in a Waikiki Friday night beer can race. I was in Waikiki for 3 Fridays and raced every week, usually with a crew of about 5. When Bill Lapworth penned the Cal 2-27, it was as a racer/ cruiser, so it only makes sense to race and cruise the yacht. Bruce anchor on the bow and Navik wind vane on the transom, MONGO represented hard while in Oahu. :) Photo thanks to Ted from HYC.

After nearly a month in Honolulu, MONGO is ready to sail to Kauai and then onto the South Pacific... After putting the new rig up in Maui and then sailing to Oahu, i've been busy at work on MONGO knocking out big projects, little ones and lots of little maintenance items. At the end of the day, the 27-foot pocket cruiser is looking more dialed than ever. Aside from losing the rig on a lee shore in Maui, the Hawaiian Islands have been good to us. Leaving Hawaii is always bitterwsweet for me, but after sailng here five times (and back four times), I am excited beyond belief to finally sail BEYOND Hawaii! I have felt like a ping-pong ball going back and forth between Cali and Hawaii (and Mexico), and finally seeing the fabled islands of the South Pacific is a major motivation for this trip. As always, I have very much enjoyed my time here at Hawaii Yacht Club in the Ala Wai Harbor. I've spent lots of quality time with several awesome freinds, both new and old, and cherish this special little cruiser's paradise that is HYC. Rebekah and I plan to set sail for Hanalei Bay, Kauai in the next 1-2 days. I plan to set sail for American Samoa on Monday June 30. I will update the blog and provide a tracker link before I leave Kauai.

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